Shakespeare's Seven Ages Of Man with Astrological Annotations
The Immortal Bard waxed lyrical in one of his plays about the Seven Ages of Man. He wasn't making things up as he went along, or, exploiting his poetic license to the full; but expressing a long held astrological belief that a person's life can be divided up into Seven Ages each of which is ruled by one of the seven planets of old.
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
At first the (MOON) infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then (MERCURY) the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
And then (VENUS) the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.
Then (MARS) a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth.
And then (JUPITER) the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.
The sixth age shifts
Into (SATURN) the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.
Last scene of all, (SATURN IN THE GUISE OF THE GREATER MALEFIC)
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."
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